Book Bud­dies Pro­gram Helps Stu­dents Boost Read­ing Skills

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY - Sally Car­roll

Good­man El­e­men­tary stu­dents are dis­cov­er­ing new and ex­cit­ing sto­ries, thanks to reader men­tors who are help­ing them.

Across the school, book bud­dies team up on Fri­days. Each week, first-grade stu­dents get a boost from fourth-grade stu­dents who read with them.

The fourth-grade teacher team re­cently took that idea one step fur­ther, hav­ing their fourth graders de­sign a pic­ture book to en­hance learn­ing.

First-grade teacher Lauren Bai­ley said the idea pro­vided an in­ter­est­ing twist to en­gage her stu­dents’ read­ing.

Mrs. Wester meyer’s fourth-grade class, which teams up with Bai­ley’s first­grade class ev­ery Fri­day, cre­ated nu­mer­ous pic­ture books, then shared them with the younger stu­dents.

Fourth-grade stu­dents could choose any topic they wanted and wrote a be­gin­ning, mid­dle and end out­line. Their story was then placed on Google Slides.

“Once their sto­ries were per­fect, they went back and added in their pic­tures. We made their sto­ries more au­then­tic by shar­ing the sto­ries with an au­di­ence who fre­quently read pic­ture books — first graders,” Bai­ley said.

Cre­at­ing pic­ture books — and read­ing with the younger stu­dents — builds lit­er­acy skills for all in­volved.

“My sweet first graders have a few books they’ve picked to read for the week and the fourth graders get to come and read those books to them. It helps the first graders hear the book read more flu­ently,” Bai­ley said.

“Any­time they hear some­one read­ing, they pick up some­thing,” she said. “It helps build the con­fi­dence of the fourth graders as well.”

The idea seems sim­ple but adds depth to read­ing lev­els. It also builds fel­low­ship be­tween two read­ers, giv­ing first graders a boost to ex­plore more books.

“They love get­ting to do any­thing with the older kids,” Bai­ley said. “They look up to them.”

“It’s al­ways a good time and the stu­dents love it!”

“Any­time they hear some­one read­ing, they pick up some­thing. It helps build the con­fi­dence of the fourth graders as well.”

Lauren Bai­ley First-grade teacher, Good­man El­e­men­tary

COUR­TESY PHOTO

First graders at Good­man El­e­men­tary re­ceive a boost from fourth-grade men­tors who read their newly cre­ated “pic­ture books” to their younger friends. A book buddy sys­tem helps fa­cil­i­tate read­ing and self-con­fi­dence for first and fourth graders, who team up weekly on Fri­days, said first-grade teacher Lauren Bai­ley. The pic­ture books added a new di­men­sion to the read­ing time, she said.

COUR­TESY PHOTO

Good­man El­e­men­tary first-grade teacher Lauren Bai­ley said the book buddy pro­gram helps pro­mote read­ing and self-con­fi­dence for both first-grade stu­dents and their fourth-grade men­tors.

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